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Circling the Drain: Stories

Davis, Amanda

ISBN 10: 0688167802 / ISBN 13: 9780688167806
Published by Rob Weisbach Books, 1999
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From SYLVESTER & ORPHANOS (SAN MARCOS, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since December 11, 1999

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Signed 0688167802 Signed by Amanda Davis. First book of an acclaimed writer. While on a book promotion for her second book, she died in a plane crash. Dj blurbs by Lee Smith & Madison Smartt Bell. Bookseller Inventory # 010679

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Circling the Drain: Stories

Publisher: Rob Weisbach Books

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

          Enter into the worlds of fifteen young women who, despite their vastly different circumstances, seem to negotiate an eerily similar and unavoidably dangerous emotional terrain. With a visceral bite or a surreal edge, each electrically charged story in Circling the Drain presents women trying to understand the nature of loss--of leaving or being left--and discovering that in the throes of feverish conflict, things are rarely what they seem. By turns dark and lyrical, ferocious and playful, these stories are precise, startling, and undeniably original. Reading them is a cathartic, mesmerizing literary experience.

Review:

In 15 short stories, Amanda Davis takes the raw emotions of love and loss and throws them into surreal perspective. Sometimes the stories are explicitly fantastic and dreamlike, like the romance with the "boy who chased freight trains" in "Chase." Sometimes the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred--the high school protagonist of "Faith or Tips for the Successful Young Lady," for example, has a "fat girl" companion that only she can see, a mocking chorus that forces her to recall the traumatic incident that led to her suicide attempt. And sometimes the surrealism comes from slowing a "realistic" moment down to closely examine its various perceptual components, as in "The Very Moment They're About," which captures two adolescents just before their kiss. Or in this scene from the title story, when a jilted lover jumps off the Williamsburg Bridge:

Later it is the air she will remember. The sharpness of it as she inhaled: crisp like paper. She could have been breathing paper. There was a rush of sound, like a train passing, or maybe like she was the train. Thick colors swirled and time became molasses as her legs slowly tumbled around behind her and then over her head. She thought that it was like being inside a spin-art toy. She was the blob of paint spreading thinly every which way, spindling in all directions, pulled flat, slow and hard. That was how she tumbled and then time caught up with itself and she dropped.
That intricate dissection of a moment's sensual and emotional register comes through in even the most naturalistic of these stories ("Red Lights Like Laughter," "The Visit"). Circling the Drain reveals Amanda Davis as a skilled crafter of character and tone, and marks her as an author to watch for some time to come. --Ron Hogan

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We specialize in Modern First Editions, Plays, Books on the Theatre and Cinema, Ethinc American Literature and Social Studies, Gay & Lesbian Literature and Social Studies, etc. We also published Limited-Signed Books, printed by letterpress and bound by hand, of notable American & international authors that include Paul Bowles, John Cheever, Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, Christopher Isherwood, James Merrill, V.S. Naipaul, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, William Styron, John Updike, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams.

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